Register Register

Author Topic: Thought experiment for you...  (Read 2693 times)

Cannonshop

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2794
Thought experiment for you...
« on: 07 November 2019, 14:22:50 »
Imagine an alternate history, one where your Clan, (pick one) picks up the Ball of Revival, and enters along the flank of the Falcon zone.  and imagine your first inner sphere target is a world with a history of resistance and uprisings.  Imagine the forces you would need to bring.  The cluster or galaxy you would assign from the pre-reaving Clan of your choice.

Now, imagine that first target, that very first world to be reclaimed...is broadcasting a quarantine alert.  Imagine the first local ship your force comes across, let's say something visibly pathetic, under-armed or under-gunned or out-technolgied by the worst of your naval reserve's mothball ships...but it approaches, and halts, holding position at your arrival, with teh following message:

"...attention Star League vessel, this system is under level zero biohazard quarantine.  your safety can not be guaranteed if you proceed further. please charge your drives and leave as soon as you can...and god be with you."

You're not going to take THAT seriously, right? level zero? a world-ending plague??  surely it's a ploy of some kind!

So you send a boarding party after they fail to react to a warning shot.

and the party finds a ship full of dead men-men who died at their stations, horribly, in obviously agonizing pain.

Well, it can still be a trick, right??

so you proceed forward anyway.

There are no more fighters or other ships rising to meet you.  There ARE wrecked jumpships in the system's orbitals, and plenty of signs of violence.  you make orbit.

there are only recorded warnings.  The cities are mostly standing, but some are burned.  Telescopes show roads choked with abandoned vehicles, and aside from what must be automatic systems, the lights on the night side of the planet? are out.  the radio is silent.

what do you do now??
The core rules for interacting with me:

1.) I am not a moderator, game developer, member of Cryptic staff, relative of any members of cryptic staff, not close friends with anyone involved with the game, not a distributor of product, not an employee, employer, professional reviewer, or member of any powerful conspiracies.  What I think is my own and has no impact on the Battletech franchise in any way, shape, or form.

2) If you don't like something I've said, refer to rule 1.  If you do, god help you poor soul, you're screwed up.

Ajax_Wolf

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 868
  • Krampus is the reason for the Christmas season.
Re: Thought experiment for you...
« Reply #1 on: 07 November 2019, 15:31:44 »
Well, you may be already screwed? If the Bug survives after the death of the host, then you screwed yourself by investigating the first ship.

But if the bug dies with the host, then I'd send a small shuttle, manned by volunteers, to the surface to look for survivors.

If found, approach them VERY carefully, until it is determined if they are clean or carriers.

If carriers, quarantine the planet and leave. Maybe push the ruined ships into the sun to prevent salvaging them.

If clean, leave them supplies, quarantine for 6 months or more, then repopulate.

But didn't you go thru this already with the Akulan Flu?
Why does everyone "Fire at Will"? Is he really that bad of a person? And what did he do to make everyone want to shoot him?

If a group of necrophiliacs met a group of zombies, who would do the chasing?

Bacon is Life! Even vegaterians eat bacon.

shadowdancer

  • Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 150
Re: Thought experiment for you...
« Reply #2 on: 07 November 2019, 17:02:22 »
First thing is you send battle armor or medical quarantine suits when you investigate the ship. Isolate the returning crew and ship then head for the planet. If the first crew are all right then let them with the same procedures go down to the planet with a medical team. Defiantly with battle armor.
Wishing the Worse on your Enemies
Contact the 13th Armored Calvary
Deliverers of "BAD LUCK"
Anytime
Anyplace
If the Price is Right

Sir Chaos

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2159
  • Artillery Fanboy
Re: Thought experiment for you...
« Reply #3 on: 07 November 2019, 17:03:21 »
Well, you may be already screwed? If the Bug survives after the death of the host, then you screwed yourself by investigating the first ship.

But if the bug dies with the host, then I'd send a small shuttle, manned by volunteers, to the surface to look for survivors.

If found, approach them VERY carefully, until it is determined if they are clean or carriers.

If carriers, quarantine the planet and leave. Maybe push the ruined ships into the sun to prevent salvaging them.

If clean, leave them supplies, quarantine for 6 months or more, then repopulate.

But didn't you go thru this already with the Akulan Flu?

The broadcast is adressed to a "Star League vessel", so was set up when the star league was still a thing. If there had been survivors, they´d have rebuilt *something* by now. It´s been 270 years.
"Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a vulgar brawl."
-Frederick the Great

"Ultima Ratio Regis" ("The Last Resort of the King")
- Inscription on cannon barrel, 18th century

Maingunnery

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 4974
  • Pirates and C3 masters are on the hitlist
Re: Thought experiment for you...
« Reply #4 on: 07 November 2019, 17:17:23 »

Burn the planet to ashes, wipe the plague from existence.
Herb: "Well, now I guess we'll HAVE to print it. Sounds almost like the apocalypse I've been working for...."

Fan XTRO: The Society

Ajax_Wolf

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 868
  • Krampus is the reason for the Christmas season.
Re: Thought experiment for you...
« Reply #5 on: 07 November 2019, 17:21:33 »
The broadcast is adressed to a "Star League vessel", so was set up when the star league was still a thing. If there had been survivors, they´d have rebuilt *something* by now. It´s been 270 years.

Likely CS was referring to the 2nd SL, cause how is a crappy ship, guided by dead people at the helm, gonna maintain a fuel supply over 270 years?
Why does everyone "Fire at Will"? Is he really that bad of a person? And what did he do to make everyone want to shoot him?

If a group of necrophiliacs met a group of zombies, who would do the chasing?

Bacon is Life! Even vegaterians eat bacon.

Daryk

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 14176
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: Thought experiment for you...
« Reply #6 on: 07 November 2019, 18:41:00 »
It's clearly deception... the world has "a history of resistance and uprisings".  Right up until personnel start dying...

Cannonshop

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2794
Re: Thought experiment for you...
« Reply #7 on: 08 November 2019, 10:38:52 »
Well, you may be already screwed? If the Bug survives after the death of the host, then you screwed yourself by investigating the first ship.

But if the bug dies with the host, then I'd send a small shuttle, manned by volunteers, to the surface to look for survivors.

If found, approach them VERY carefully, until it is determined if they are clean or carriers.

If carriers, quarantine the planet and leave. Maybe push the ruined ships into the sun to prevent salvaging them.

If clean, leave them supplies, quarantine for 6 months or more, then repopulate.

But didn't you go thru this already with the Akulan Flu?
The Arluna Flu, yeah, I did a series of stories on that.  My main idea was more on the psychological front for a Clanner- thinking about it from that end as how it might feel, morale-wise.  You've got the go-ahead, it's time to liberate the inner Sphere from the traitor lords, you've got what you think is pretty good intel thanks to the Wolf Compromise...adn then, the first world you reach, ready for battle, ready to civilize them savages, ready to arrive on a carpet of triumph...

Death. Everywhere.  no glorious battle, just...corpses and horror.  put in more context, "Level Zero" is supposed to only be theoretical.  Nobody in the original SLDF or Star League actually thought something that virulent could exist outside of theoretical exercises, and teh best bioweapons of the OLD Star League still had a 40% survival rate, so this is something on a whole new scale of awful to find. 

so I'm kind of wondering what you guys think the emotional or moral reaction would be to finding this.
The core rules for interacting with me:

1.) I am not a moderator, game developer, member of Cryptic staff, relative of any members of cryptic staff, not close friends with anyone involved with the game, not a distributor of product, not an employee, employer, professional reviewer, or member of any powerful conspiracies.  What I think is my own and has no impact on the Battletech franchise in any way, shape, or form.

2) If you don't like something I've said, refer to rule 1.  If you do, god help you poor soul, you're screwed up.

cklammer

  • Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 156
Re: Thought experiment for you...
« Reply #8 on: 08 November 2019, 11:24:55 »
One could write this from the POV of a Clan Warrior or (not having been done to much before) from the POV of a Scientist Caste member.

Whatever you decide that one could write as "I do not care what happens around me - onward the clan" or "I am a clanner before and afterwards I am just a broken, traumatized being".

If someone can write something like that it would be either dubble_g or yourself and you already have a ready-made background with the Ngo-Verse and the Arluna Flu ... so ...

Problem here with you is that you write your Clanners as smart and not Canon-stupid .. so how would you proceed into disaster plot-wise?

smcwatt

  • Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 134
Re: Thought experiment for you...
« Reply #9 on: 08 November 2019, 11:56:16 »
Maybe watch a real downer movie about the nuclear apocalypse, like "Threads", then try to capture that emotion.

The Clans' Warrior Caste don't seem to be equipped to handle OOTW, they seem to lack a certain concern for those outside of their caste. I think you could get a better POV reaction from the Scientist or Labourer caste personnel in the Cluster. They might appreciate the sheer cost to humanity of a disaster of that scale.

SMc.

Ajax_Wolf

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 868
  • Krampus is the reason for the Christmas season.
Re: Thought experiment for you...
« Reply #10 on: 08 November 2019, 17:37:45 »
I think you'd have mass depression, followed by varying stages of loss. But each Clan and caste members would experience them to different degrees.u

You've travel this great distance, and all that time you've been prepping for a great conflict. Then, as your jump fuzziness clears, nothing. No glory, no honor, no someone over your shoulder waiting for you to fix a 'mech, no one shooting back at you.

Then, as you learn more about what has happened, you'd have people worried that it could happen to them. Maybe some would say " oh well, on to the next target." Others would say "geez, what did these idiots do? And can we use it against some one else?"

While every one would go thru these stages, they'd experiences them differently. I suppose a good way to write this would be from various characters PoV, say a spacer or marine, a tech assigned to the landing party, a warriow sent into the country side to investigate, a Galcomm watching his Galaxy hall apart from the stress.

Some many variables to choose from.

PS: Yes, the Arluna Flu, couldn't remember the name correctly, but was close enough you knew what I meant.
« Last Edit: 08 November 2019, 21:59:23 by Ajax_Wolf »
Why does everyone "Fire at Will"? Is he really that bad of a person? And what did he do to make everyone want to shoot him?

If a group of necrophiliacs met a group of zombies, who would do the chasing?

Bacon is Life! Even vegaterians eat bacon.

JA Baker

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1098
  • Freelance Warship designer
Re: Thought experiment for you...
« Reply #11 on: 08 November 2019, 21:31:23 »
The phrase "kill it with fire" exists for a reason: sometimes, the only option is to burn out the infection.
"That's the thing about invading the Capellan Confederation: half a decade later, you want to invade it again"
-Attributed to First-Prince Hanse Davion, 3030

Requested: One Mark V ECM unit, 1,000 meters of Fullerene cable, one low-yield nuclear warhead.
Purpose: Surprise party for foreign dignitary.
AFFS Special Operations requisition form

Vehrec

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 917
  • Mr. Flibble is Very Cross
Re: Thought experiment for you...
« Reply #12 on: 10 November 2019, 10:46:29 »
World Pacified, Job Done.  Shame about the biosphere, I'll dispatch some scientists to build a monitoring station and keep tabs on what's so lethal, but we've got a conquest to go to.  Proceed directly to Wave 2, Option Omega, we're splitting the force because we don't have to invest this system.  Good news for our second-line forces, they actually get to take a planet!  Sure, our records indicate it's a backwater system with a highly aggressive local microbiota that eats ferro-fiberous armor, but we've packed enough decon solution to ensure none of that microbe escapes when you dust off.
*Insert support for fashionable faction of the week here*

croaker

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 557
Re: Thought experiment for you...
« Reply #13 on: 12 November 2019, 17:15:38 »
"We knew things had been bad when the Great Father left. And that they were rapidly degenerating. We know the stories the Wolf Dragoons' early intelligence reports sent back. But to actually see this... a world shattered, destroyed, by a weapon of horror... If this is what the Scavenger Lords call 'warfare'... I see no honor here, no glory. Only death. And that is all that they deserve."

Cue total war on the part of that clan. Slightest resistance sterilized by ortillery, because no risks with bioweapons.

shadowdancer

  • Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 150
Re: Thought experiment for you...
« Reply #14 on: 14 November 2019, 20:50:49 »
I would use Goliath Scorpion. Beta to lead the way with Alfa as trouble shooters Gamma and Rho as flankers with Tau as garrison troops. Use Tau to figure out what is going on and advance with the other units. 1st Cateran Cluster to lead the way as point!!! Go Scorpions!
Wishing the Worse on your Enemies
Contact the 13th Armored Calvary
Deliverers of "BAD LUCK"
Anytime
Anyplace
If the Price is Right

Korzon77

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2182
Re: Thought experiment for you...
« Reply #15 on: 17 November 2019, 00:26:09 »
What happens on the next world?  Because one world? Well they knew things were bad, that's why they left!

But what if they find other worlds like that? What if the weapon wasn't just used on one world...

Mohammed As`Zaman Bey

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 1904
Re: Thought experiment for you...
« Reply #16 on: 23 November 2019, 03:36:22 »
  While nuking a world from orbit is the sci-fi "Easy" button, I have serious doubts that any of the powers in the BT universe have the capability mass annihilation on anywhere near that scale, and certainly not against organisms that could lay dormant in deep sea fissures where no amount of heat or radiation could touch them. There are microbes on Earth that thrive in boiling water and other that could withstand radiation levels deadly to animals and humans. These are the life forms that survived multiple mass extinction events, and will likely outlast humanity.

  So, you drop a few bombs, then wait for a while before sending a team to see if the coast is clear, in the assumption that you managed to kill every possible hostile microbe, including the ones frozen in ice and those living in the bodies that went to hide in the deepest, most secure bomb shelters and mine shafts, if you could find them after the surface has been trashed, because you already know that your best weapons only cause superficial damage.

  This is the kind of dilemma that would make a Clan commander punt and call home for a professional opinion from an epidemiologist among the Science Caste, because there is too much at risk, and no need for immediate  action. He may even wait for a special team to arrive in order to study the problem on site. This team could set up an orbital lab, position satellites, send down drones and determine the actual status of the planet's air, water, surface, life forms, etc., to open a case study, on the contingency that the biohazard may have made it off planet and spread elsewhere prior to the quarantine. 

cklammer

  • Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 156
Re: Thought experiment for you...
« Reply #17 on: 23 November 2019, 06:06:18 »
That is why you do not nuke but use aggressive chemical warfare agents because these pervade everywhere which have to have a longlived persistence even in the oceans because otherwise you just can not be sure.

And make no mistake: if you are wanting to kill viruses you are killing the whole ecology and then where your oxygen is coming from? And what is going to break down your persistent chemical agent?

NATO and the Warsaw Pact have done enough studies on the effects and aftermath of unrestricted chemical warfare with persistent chemical agents back in the day - summary: do not do it because you need to bring everything back into the affected area starting from microbes, insects etc.

Mohammed As`Zaman Bey

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 1904
Re: Thought experiment for you...
« Reply #18 on: 23 November 2019, 08:52:40 »
That is why you do not nuke but use aggressive chemical warfare agents because these pervade everywhere which have to have a longlived persistence even in the oceans because otherwise you just can not be sure.
   Actually, chemical warfare warfare agents aren't persistent at all, at least, not when I was the NBC warfare instructor for my unit in Germany. Biological warfare was considered the most serious threat because so little was understood, and the presence of bio in the air wasn't detectable until hours after exposure (anthrax takes about 12 days to incubate), as opposed to chemical weapons, that could affect people after a few seconds. Chemical weapons dissipate, evaporate, become diluted and eventually lose potency, while bio weapons could live on equipment, in infected victims, or be carried and spread by natural vectors like birds or rodents.

  With a serious biological weapon on a planet, planet-wide sterilization is not possible or even necessary -Identification, isolation, study, and countermeasures would be the most rational course but it may require years to safely deal with the problem. There is no "Easy" button in this case, and I wouldn't put much money on the Clans figuring it out; I'd contact the kind of people who would develop and actually use biological weapons, as they would have more of a head start in research and concepts.

RifleMech

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1315
Re: Thought experiment for you...
« Reply #19 on: 25 November 2019, 07:38:57 »
If the Star League quarantined the planet, wouldn't that information be on the Clans navigational charts?  ???

Cannonshop

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2794
Re: Thought experiment for you...
« Reply #20 on: 25 November 2019, 08:14:10 »
If the Star League quarantined the planet, wouldn't that information be on the Clans navigational charts?  ???

The date stamps are recent, the procedures are ancient, whoever posted those bouys wanted anyone and everyone who still has basic comm protocols from the Star League days to be able to understand the message.

Okay, let's advance things a bit...

for the Clans who poked deeper...

the cities are choked with bodies and debris.  Millions, possibly billions of unburied corpses, unattended machines and power plants, wrecked transports, and every direction, death.

but there are (for the boldest of the bold) survivors to be found here and there.  Less than a fraction of this world's pre-plague population have managed to live through it, they're scattered widely, no real pattern to who survived and who didn't, except one:  The bulk of the plague's survivors are under twenty-five, the oldest show marked problems with impulse control and rational thought, but still retain some-a bit like drunks.  the younger ones show almost no evidence beyond some basic, visible physical symptoms-with enhanced reaction times, severely enhanced sense of smell (something on the order of fifty times more sensitive than a bloodhound), and damage to their eyes making them extremely sensitive to light.  The obvious psychological and mental trauma of seeing whole cities die (including for the majority, everyone they ever knew, or even considered knowing) has clearly impacted the survivors.

What is the Clan answer to this?
The core rules for interacting with me:

1.) I am not a moderator, game developer, member of Cryptic staff, relative of any members of cryptic staff, not close friends with anyone involved with the game, not a distributor of product, not an employee, employer, professional reviewer, or member of any powerful conspiracies.  What I think is my own and has no impact on the Battletech franchise in any way, shape, or form.

2) If you don't like something I've said, refer to rule 1.  If you do, god help you poor soul, you're screwed up.

Daryk

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 14176
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: Thought experiment for you...
« Reply #21 on: 25 November 2019, 18:33:07 »
Zombie apocalypse?  Nuke it from orbit... it's the only way to be sure...  ^-^

Korzon77

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2182
Re: Thought experiment for you...
« Reply #22 on: 26 November 2019, 01:46:19 »
The date stamps are recent, the procedures are ancient, whoever posted those bouys wanted anyone and everyone who still has basic comm protocols from the Star League days to be able to understand the message.

Okay, let's advance things a bit...

for the Clans who poked deeper...

the cities are choked with bodies and debris.  Millions, possibly billions of unburied corpses, unattended machines and power plants, wrecked transports, and every direction, death.

but there are (for the boldest of the bold) survivors to be found here and there.  Less than a fraction of this world's pre-plague population have managed to live through it, they're scattered widely, no real pattern to who survived and who didn't, except one:  The bulk of the plague's survivors are under twenty-five, the oldest show marked problems with impulse control and rational thought, but still retain some-a bit like drunks.  the younger ones show almost no evidence beyond some basic, visible physical symptoms-with enhanced reaction times, severely enhanced sense of smell (something on the order of fifty times more sensitive than a bloodhound), and damage to their eyes making them extremely sensitive to light.  The obvious psychological and mental trauma of seeing whole cities die (including for the majority, everyone they ever knew, or even considered knowing) has clearly impacted the survivors.

What is the Clan answer to this?

Back off and keep going. The clan simly doens't have the numbers to do a full scale Search & Rescue operation. Given how verbotem bio warfare is for everyone at this point, it's entirely possible the Comstar, and even the Successor States might be willing to provide help, even if they are at war with the clans, because someone out there is playing with stuff that is dangerous to everyone.   They could also provide manpower for Search and Rescue.

Wrangler

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 17852
  • Dang it!
Re: Thought experiment for you...
« Reply #23 on: 26 November 2019, 07:51:43 »
Society may not be soo squeemish about landing and extracting such interesting....subjects for advancement of SCIENCE!  :D  :brew:
"Men, fetch the Urbanmechs.  We have an interrogation to attend to." - jklantern
"How do you defeat a Dragau? Shoot the damn thing. Lots." - Jellico 
"No, it's a "Most Awesome Blues Brothers scene Reenactment EVER" waiting to happen." VotW Destrier - Weirdo  
"It's 200 LY to Sian, we got a full load of shells, a half a platoon of Grenadiers, it's exploding outside, and we're wearing flak jackets." VoTW Destrier - Misterpants

RifleMech

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1315
Re: Thought experiment for you...
« Reply #24 on: 26 November 2019, 09:03:04 »
The date stamps are recent, the procedures are ancient, whoever posted those bouys wanted anyone and everyone who still has basic comm protocols from the Star League days to be able to understand the message.

It'd still make me wonder, why address the message to a long gone Star League instead of just "Hey approaching vessel! This planet is quarantined! Abandon all hope ye who land on this place!"



Quote
Okay, let's advance things a bit...

for the Clans who poked deeper...

the cities are choked with bodies and debris.  Millions, possibly billions of unburied corpses, unattended machines and power plants, wrecked transports, and every direction, death.

but there are (for the boldest of the bold) survivors to be found here and there.  Less than a fraction of this world's pre-plague population have managed to live through it, they're scattered widely, no real pattern to who survived and who didn't, except one:  The bulk of the plague's survivors are under twenty-five, the oldest show marked problems with impulse control and rational thought, but still retain some-a bit like drunks.  the younger ones show almost no evidence beyond some basic, visible physical symptoms-with enhanced reaction times, severely enhanced sense of smell (something on the order of fifty times more sensitive than a bloodhound), and damage to their eyes making them extremely sensitive to light.  The obvious psychological and mental trauma of seeing whole cities die (including for the majority, everyone they ever knew, or even considered knowing) has clearly impacted the survivors.

What is the Clan answer to this?


For the first part I'd have Battle Armor troops investigate the ship, and then undergo decontamination procedures. They'd stay on the Small Craft until proven they're safe to return.

For the second part, why do we Clan X want this planet again?   Maybe I'd send those same troops, if I didn't have any drones, take environmental samples and let the scientists investigate it. Otherwise, declare the planet conquered but not worth occupying and go on to the next planet. 

 

Register